23 December 2010

Pigs Get Fed Hogs Get Slaughtered

"Pigs get fed and hogs get slaughtered.." - Roxanne Qualls, as heard on WVXU this morning quoting Mayor Mallory in regards to the budget battle.

I heard her say this and had no idea what the saying meant. So I googled the saying, and found that Joe Sutter claims to have invented the phrase in 2001 in response to a salesman that tried to gouge customers instead of offering his product at a fair price. He ended up being slaughtered. If he had been satisfied with a reasonable profit he would have been fed.

If I am understanding this correctly, Qualls and Mallory are saying that those who ask for too much in the budget debate may loose, and those who are reasonable may win.

21 December 2010

Rat Tracks in Fresh Snow


I found out yesterday that Blogger aka Google does not allow totally unlimited amount of blog photos to be posted. After several years of posting photos and sometimes videos, I apparently reached their 1 gigabyte limit for free Blogger photos. So I made the plunge and paid $5/year for up to 20 gigabyte of photo storage. This blog now officially costs me money to run. Not sure how I feel about this. If I quit paying the $5, which photos will disappear?

How to Speed Decomposition

....It now appeared that he had taken practical steps to ensure that there would be no veneration. Though the grave was excavated to a depth of eight feet, no human remains whatever were discovered. The cardinal had been buried in a simple wooden coffin, and on his instructions the grave had been filled with a soft mulch designed to speed decomposition; the wet clay of the Lickey hills had done the rest. The crestfallen relic-hunters had to content themselves with a few pieces of corroded metalwork and the tassels from Newman’s ceremonial cardinal’s hat...

-From the NY Times Review of Books on Newman’s Unquiet Grave: The Reluctant Saint

St Francis Seraph Nativity

At the corner of Vine and Liberty daily 1-7pm:




20 December 2010

17 December 2010

Working for Lunch

The kids had to shovel for Tom+Chee for lunch: 
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15 December 2010

Location Efficiency Study

This research analyzed a sample of 40,000 mortgages and found the higher the rate of vehicle ownership, the greater the probability of mortgage default. The authors conclude, "location efficiency matters."

Using a sample of over 40,000 mortgages in Chicago, Jacksonville, and San Francisco, we model the probability of mortgage default based on differences in location efficiency. We used two proxy variables for location efficiency: 1) vehicles per household scaled by income and 2) Walk Score. We find that default probability increases with the number of vehicles owned after controlling for income. Further, we find that default probability decreases with higher Walk Scores in high income areas but increases with higher Walk Scores in low income areas. These results suggest that some degree of greater mortgage underwriting flexibility could be provided to assist households with the purchase of location efficient homes, without increasing mortgage default. They also support the notion that government policies around land use, zoning, infrastructure, and transportation could have significant impacts on
mortgage default rates.

Excerpts from the Conclusion:

Our findings indicate that location efficiency matters. Taken together, our results have significant policy implications with respect to lending practices, land use, and transportation planning.

We test our hypotheses regarding vehicle ownership and mortgage default and find that the probability of default does increase with vehicle ownership. Moreover, the impact of location efficiency (as measured by income-normalized vehicle ownership) on default is nontrivial. ... The results strongly suggest that researchers developing and refining automated mortgage underwriting models should seek to test the impact of location efficiency
variables within their models.

It is interesting to note that there is an additional possible explanation for why mortgages for location-efficient homes perform better, beyond the household budgetary savings of lower vehicle ownership. This explanation is that location efficient homes might hold their value better than other homes, and therefore better enable borrowers to avoid foreclosure through alternative measures (such as selling or refinancing the home) if they fall behind on payments or need to manage payment shock from an adjustable rate mortgage.

... our results provide support for policies supporting smart growth development and urban revitalization. That is, designing neighborhoods in such a way that reduces transportation needs is beneficial to borrowers as well as the environment.

Location Efficiency and Mortgage Default (PDF File)
Authors: Stephanie Y. Rauterkus, Grant I. Thrall, and Eric Hangen
Journal of Sustainable Real Estate Vol. 2, No. 1, 2010

Metrodome Collapse Video

13 December 2010

I'm Back But Rushed

We just finished one of those downtowner weekends in which we tramped from event to event, laughing and playing in the snow along the way. I met many new people, mostly for just a few moments, but also visited longer with some other dads too:

For example, on Saturday, we accidentally happened upon an advent celebration at Nast Trinity UMC, which is a church that for some reason, I rarely get inside of. The kids met a Santa there, and had pizza and sang carols. As we were leaving, we saw dozens of Santas on Vine Street.

Later that day we saw the Queen City Concert Band perform a free Christmas concert at Memorial Hall.

My wife went to the new shoe repair store on Vine, and the owner said he is buying Al Rohs' key making machine, so that he can continue offering that service to the neighborhood.

Sunday at noon, we were at Just Crepes. My son wolfed down his food and walked out the door. A woman nearby, dressed in Bengal gear, worried that I would lose my son, came over and told me that my son was outside. I assured her that he was fine, and we talked for a bit about their visit to downtown and how they lost their son once at the State Fair years ago.

While watching kids skate at Fountain Square, I met the guy who started Tom + Chee, and he said he is setup to start making mac and cheese and meatloaf on his refurbished stove next week. He has a great entrepreneurial spirit, standing in a freezing tent all day selling $2 hot cocoas and $3 tomato soups (which are excellent).

Sunday just kept getting colder and colder, and it seemed like a blizzard as we left for home. The kids were excited thinking that maybe school would be cancelled. No such luck.

Photos from cell phone this weekend:

Out of Mulberry Street, Jacob Riis book seen at library:
Puppet show at Nast Trinity UMC
Superheroes mural
Parvis Alley
New parking lot (blah) at 1420 Republic, behind burned Smitty's
Superheroes playground just refurbished, 1414-1416 Republic Street:
gas valves found by son in blg being rehabbed:
QCCB at Memorial Hall
Recital at Watson Hall, CCM:

How Buildings Learn

I have been watching these interesting videos

1. How Buildings Learn - Stewart Brand - 1 of 6 - “Flow”

2. How Buildings Learn - Stewart Brand - 2 of 6 - “The Low Road”

3. How Buildings Learn - Stewart Brand - 3 of 6 - “Built for Change”

4. How Buildings Learn - Stewart Brand - 4 of 6 - “Unreal Estate”

5. How Buildings Learn - Stewart Brand - 5 of 6 - “The Romance of Maintenance”

6. How Buildings Learn - Stewart Brand - 6 of 6 - “Shearing Layers”

This six-part, three-hour, BBC TV series aired in 1997. I presented and co-wrote the series; it was directed by James Muncie, with music by Brian Eno. The series was based on my 1994 book, HOW BUILDINGS LEARN: What Happens After They’re Built. The book is still selling well and is used as a text in some college courses. Most of the 27 reviews on Amazon treat it as a book about system and software design, which tells me that architects are not as alert as computer people. But I knew that; that’s part of why I wrote the book. Anybody is welcome to use anything from this series in any way they like. Please don’t bug me with requests for permission. Hack away. Do credit the BBC, who put considerable time and talent into the project. Historic note: this was one of the first television productions made entirely in digital--- shot digital, edited digital. The project wound up with not enough money, so digital was the workaround. The camera was so small that we seldom had to ask permission to shoot; everybody thought we were tourists. No film or sound crew. Everything technical on site was done by editors, writers, directors. That’s why the sound is a little sketchy, but there’s also some direct perception in the filming that is unusual - Stewart Brand

11 December 2010


My kids loved this scene, among others:

09 December 2010

Pool Building Gone

Washington Park pool next I suppose.. 
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06 December 2010

Have a Tormented Day

"No little part of the torment of existence is that Time is continually pressing upon us, never letting us catch our breath but always coming after us, like a taskmaster with a whip."
- Schopenhauer (as quoted in The Corrections)